When I first started publishing, it was the norm for the publishers to bring authors to LDSBA to sign books for the vendors. Now I’m noticing that authors aren’t being invited as much. Is this just the case with my publisher (don’t they love me anymore?) or are all publishers being more selective about who they bring to LDSBA?
Thanks for the question, Anonymous. It is so much easier for me to respond to questions than to make something up out of the blue.
This is how it works–You can’t get into the convention without a name badge. Each 10×10 booth gets 15 free name badges. So if you have a double booth, you get 30 name badges; if you have an octobooth (that’s the professional term for a ginormous 8 space booth), you get…well, 15 X 8 name badges. (It’s late and I just ended a 14 hour workday, so you do the math.)
First priority name badges go to the employees who will work in the booth. Remember, the purpose of this convention is to sell books. Second priority are the authors/artists for book/CD/print signings.
We don’t have enough name badges for all of our authors to come, so we limit it to those authors who have new product being introduced at the convention and/or to those authors who are “hot” names and will draw a crowd of people who want to simply touch their hem and breathe the same air so they can go back home and brag to all their neighbors that they are now good friends with whats-his/her-name.
And there are a limited number of hours to actually have book signings, so that is a factor too.
One of the biggest limiting factors is simply space in the booth. Deseret Book always has several big names signing at their booth. Covenant, Granite and Cedar Fort do too. They all have big booths with plenty of room and special little nooks and tables where their authors can sit and do a signing without interfering with the business end of the booth.
Smaller publishers with only a 10×10 have to cram everything into that space. If you get really busy with buyers, the signing authors sometimes are a hindrance. Not because of their personality or anything–just spatial logistics. Some smaller publishers have decided it’s just too hard to do it. Even though I don’t have an octobooth, I think it’s worthwhile to have the authors there because their excitement about their book is a great selling tool. Usually.
So my guess is–it has nothing to do with how much they like you.